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Old 11-16-2012, 04:48 PM   #25
Join Date: Feb 2010
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Originally Posted by pc1 View Post
While the OP has made some excellent points, there are several things to consider when we look at Sampras' percentage of service games won numbers versus the few who are ahead of him. First of all we have to consider that in his time that Sampras usually led the ATP in percentage of holding serve. This could mean several things. One thing is that considering the equipments, surfaces and overall conditions it may have been harder to hold serve in those days and a slightly lower number may be good enough to led the ATP. Another thing is that Sampras went deeper into tournaments than Isner, Roddick or Karlovic and faced better returners like an Agassi, Chang etc. The last thing is perhaps the others are just plain better. Personally I think guys like Isner and Roddick are fantastic servers but to me it's debatable whether they are superior to Sampras. Roddick's numbers in leading the ATP however are fabulous and I do think he is on Sampras' level, maybe above or just below him.
Originally Posted by pc1 View Post
Not necessarily because as I mentioned he often doesn't last to the later rounds where he may often play a better returner.

Thing is that if players were better returners today relatively speaking it may stand to reason that the percentage of service breaks are higher. Yet I see at the top levels that servers seem to hold serve at a higher rate.

I have the stats for Sampras in the 1990's and he did lead the ATP most years in the 1990's if I recall correctly. It is an interesting discussion however.
Originally Posted by aceroberts13 View Post
I would also argue that to an extent (and I stress extent) that Sampras' hold% was more greatly affected by the fact that he was in many more tough matches than the three gentleman ahead of him. I also think this same caveat would apply to Roddick and Isner as well but to lesser extents than Sampras. Just food for thought. Simplified my logic is this: You consistently go deeper into tournaments, you consistently face tougher tournaments which is more true to Sampras than Roddick and Isner.

While it's true that Sampras faced top players more often than Karlovic has, this doesn't seem to have inflated Karlovic's percentage of service games held to any significant degree:

Originally Posted by TheFifthSet View Post
. . . that seriously doubts that Ivo Karlovic has the best serve on tour? If so, I'd like to hear why as I find it a bit strange. What I find pretty convincing is his % of service games won vs. great returners:

Davydenko: 90%, three matches played
Federer: 93%, ten matches played (most of them before the emergence of ********).
Djokovic: 91%, two matches played
Nalbandian: 87%, two matches played
Murray: 77%, three matches played (I'd say this is a bit of an aberration)
Nadal: 91%, two matches played
Ferrer: 90%, one match played
Hewitt: 90%, four matches played
Agassi: 96%, one match played at the 2005 US Open (granted this was in 2005 but still, Agassi would go on to make the final so he obviously had some game, and was still a damn good returner).
Del Potro: 100%, one match played
Verdasco: 94%, four matches played

So those eleven players have broken Karlovic 42/438 times, or 9.6% of the time. If you take Murray out of there, it's an 8.2% rate.

He also has a 93% of service games won vs. Roddick and Soderling in 10 matches, although Roddick obviously doesn't have a great return and Soderling doesn't have the best defensive return.

With all of this being said, it surprises me that some people may doubt that Karlovic has the best serve in the game.
This suggests that regardless of the quality of player Karlovic faces, his serve is more effective than Sampras' since Sampras held serve less often than Karlovic even though the rest of his game is superior to Karlovic's in every respect.

Last edited by piece; 11-16-2012 at 04:52 PM.
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